Monday, April 6, 2009

Time to move forward in Alaska politics
I am very disappointed that Republicans are now asking for Sen. Mark Begich to resign. If we had a new election every time circumstances changed, we would have a very strange system of government.

No special election
What? Have Gov. Sarah Palin and the Republican party lost their minds, asking Sen. Mark Begich to resign? The Alaskan people already voted, and they voted for Begich. Ted Stevens made his choices when he broke the law, and he made those choices long before the campaign for Alaskan Senator began. And now the taxpayers are supposed to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars for a special election just to make sure the voters made the right choice? Maybe the voters weren't thinking straight? Give me a break! Steven's charges got dismissed because of a technicality, not because he's innocent.

Give Kerttula the seat
I have followed the process of filling Kim Elton's senate seat from the beginning. It is clear that the process is supposed to be the Juneau Democrats coming up with the people they want and the Senate Democrats having the final say in who it is.

School district fails to keep bussing records
Nine-year-old Molli Mattice was bawling on the side of Riverside Drive in the Mendenhall Valley on the afternoon of Feb. 18. She was lost less than a mile from home, because she had just moved into the neighborhood and didn't know her way around. It was her first day riding the route.

Alaskan White released today
After years of perfecting the recipe through its rough draft program, the Alaskan Brewing Co. will release its first Belgian-style wheat beer to the market today.

Palin wants open vote on Senate seat
Gov. Sarah Palin is backing away from her demand that Republican senators have a say in who represents Juneau in the Alaska Senate, but is still demanding a public vote on her appointment to replace former Democratic Sen. Kim Elton.

Photos: Palm Sunday processional
Bishop Edward Burns gives a sermon about the meaning of Palm Sunday during mass at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sunday.

Photo: Images from another time Optimistic signs
Former Democratic Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield, left, and Jon Conway, a member of his legal defense team, show signs of optimism as they're photographed on Seward Street on July 29, 1985. The Alaska Senate held hearings in the summer of 1985 to decide if a grand jury was right when it recommended that lawmakers consider impeaching Sheffield for his role in negotiating a state office lease in Fairbanks. The Senate found no clear convincing evidence and did not forward an impeachment resolution to the state House.

Assembly to take up mining regs
The Juneau Assembly will consider a resolution Monday evening opposing a water-quality bill now in the U.S. Congress on the grounds it may threaten the future of the Kensington gold mine.

Eaglecrest to wrap up season
The thinning number of springtime skiers at Eaglecrest Ski Area continues to jump when the mercury flickers winter, but despite thoughts of dumping "teaser" snow downtown by the truckload, the lift season will end with next weekend's annual Easter festivities.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Around Town
Today

Photo: Taking flight
A bald eagle takes flight from its perch on a snowbank in the near Lemon Creek Friday.

Around Town
Today

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Climbing to new heights
During its second-ever accreditation since its inception in 1982, Juneau Mountain Rescue underwent a strenuous recertification assessment Friday night and all day Saturday at three different locations in town - and they passed.

Pets of the week: Pretty kitties seek caring homes
Shakira, white and black, is an uppity little 1-year-old kitten who loves to play but usually just with humans. She has been at the Gastineau Humane Society for a few months now and is excited to get out into the big world and explore.

Tips on moving with your cat
A cat is not, by nature, a moveable beast. Taking him from a familiar home to a new one rubs him wrong two ways:

Southeast Senior Services holds regional drivers' training
Southeast Senior Services held a special drivers workshop in Juneau from March 17 to 20. Senior center drivers from Angoon, Haines, Hoonah, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawock, Sitka, Wrangell, Yakutat and four Juneau Care-A-Van drivers participated.

Judd Allen to speak at Sitka Health Summit
SITKA - The guest speaker for the third annual Sitka Health Summit, "Working Together for a Healthier Sitka," will be Dr. Judd Allen, a nationally known expert on building cultures of health and wellness. Allen will speak about the importance of creating a culture of health; the elements of culture (including shared values, norms, value touch points, peer support and climate); and the role of leadership and peer support in bringing about culture change.

University Beatniks to host poetry slam
JUNEAU - The Beatniks, a new English club at the University of Alaska Southeast, will host a poetry slam from 7 to 9 p.m. April 18 at the UAS Recreation Center. The public is welcomed and greatly encouraged to attend and participate in this and other Beatnik events.

Local Cub, Boy Scouts to hold food drive
JUNEAU - On Saturday, Juneau Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will participate in the Boy Scouts of America's "Good Turn" event known as the Scouting for Food Campaign, during which scouts will go door to door collecting nonperishable and canned food items.

Beading for a Cause to hold workshop Monday
SITKA - Open to cancer survivors and their loved ones, a Beading for a Cause workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Sitka SouthEast Regional Health Consortium Community Health Services first floor conference room.

Grant-in-Aid applications available for museums
JUNEAU - The Alaska State Museum has announced that application forms are available to Alaska museums and historical societies for the state's Grant-in-Aid program. The mailing deadline for applications is June 1.

Icicle Seafoods gives university $25,000
JUNEAU - Career training and workforce development for Southeast Alaska is the motivation behind a recent $25,000 gift to the University of Alaska Southeast from Icicle Seafoods, a seafood processing company founded in Petersburg in 1965 and currently one of the largest seafood processors in Alaska.

Whittier Street is renamed to Warrior
On March 2, Southeast Alaska Native Veterans member Harvey Marvin applied to the city Planning Commission to officially change the name of Whittier Street to Warrior Street. This public right-of-way, between Village Street and West Willoughby Avenue, adjacent to the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall downtown, was officially changed during a hearing on March 10.

Senior menu for the week of April 6-10
Monday, April 6

Fish and Game announces 2009 sport fishing king salmon limits
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the 2009 sport fishing bag and possession limits for king salmon in Southeast Alaska and Yakutat Wednesday.

FYI
Births

Thank you to Harri's Plumbing and Heating
During this recession and tough economic times, it's comforting to know that there are caring people in this community ready to assist you.

Thanks for supporting Auke Bay's Hoe Down
On behalf of the Auke Bay Elementary School community, I would like to extend great appreciation and gratitude to all the people that helped make our 11th annual Hoe Down a success. This family music evening is a fundraiser for our music program. We want to especially thank dance caller Tom Paul and the John Church and the Merritonics band, including Ellen Ferguson and Henry Hopkins for providing live music.

Thanks for donating to the Outdoor Council
The Alaska Outdoor Council would like to thank all of its Alaska donors for helping make the annual fundraiser another great success.

Thanks for attending the circus, Juneau
On behalf of the entire cast and crew of the International All-Star Circus, we would like to thank the residents of Juneau for the warm reception we received in your city. Many of us travel all over the world, but we agreed that the audiences in Alaska are some of the best. From the staff at Centennial Hall, to the Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau and parents and kids who waited after the show to talk or get a photo taken with the performers, we could not have felt more welcome. When we had to cancel our first show due to delays caused by Mount Redoubt volcano eruptions, the local media were fantastic at helping us to spread the word. We heard that one of the best things about the beautiful state of Alaska is its people, and this experience proved it. Thank you to everyone who came to the show and to those who helped make it possible. We hope to be back again in the very near future.

Thanks for attending Read Across America
The Juneau Education Association hosted Read Across America at the Nugget Mall earlier this month. More than 200 community members celebrated reading at this fantastic annual event.

Capital City Fire Rescue completes three-day Hazardous Materials Program
Capital City Fire Rescue recently completed an intensive three-day Hazardous Materials Program on anhydrous ammonia.

Stephens celebrate 57 years
Loren and Darlene Stephens were married on April 7, 1952. Their family and friends, Keith, Debbie, Jeremy, Torry, Kristan, Tara, Kyle and Kallan, wish them a happy anniversary.

Scotland: Castles, MacDonalds
From Inveraray, Scotland, my husband, Don, and I and our English friends, Alison and Laurence, drove to Castle Stalker, the Glencoe valley where 38 MacDonalds were killed and the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the flag of rebellion in 1745.

Echo Ranch boasts of wilderness programs
Last year, I ran a radio commercial with the voice of Echo Ranch saying, "Get them kids off the couch, off them video games and out to Echo Ranch."

Consortium to host Gene Tagaban storytelling workshops
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will host noted Tlingít performer and artist Gene Tagaban for workshops in the art of storytelling. Admission is free and all are invited. Workshops will take place in Sitka, Kake, Haines, Klukwan, Petersburg and Wrangell.

Juneau resident shares Power Ranger Bars
There aren't many comforts that compare to a homemade meal. Do you have a favorite? Are you craving a few new recipes? Let us know about some of your most used recipes. Send them, so the rest of us can try them out.

Central Council, Sealaska Corp. sign memorandum of understanding
Bill Martin, president of Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and Chris E. McNeil Jr., Sealaska president and CEO, announced that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on March 27 between Central Council and Sealaska.

Patricia I. Stephens
Juneau resident Patricia I. Stephens died March 29, 2009, at her home. She was 80.

Thomas H. Slater
Former Juneau resident Thomas "Tom" H. Slater died Feb. 2, 2009, at Skyridge Medical Center in Cleveland, Tenn., surrounded by family. He was 80.

Outside editorial: New words for war
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently confirmed that the Obama administration has dropped the phrase "global war on terror." She didn't say why. "I think that speaks for itself. Obviously," was her elaboration. That raised a few obvious questions: Does the new administration believe the fight against al-Qaida and other extreme Islamist groups doesn't amount to war? Is the threat to the U.S. homeland less, in President Obama's estimation, than that perceived by President George W. Bush? And does the United States still expect its NATO military allies to join in this newly unnamed, speaks-for-itself endeavor?

Outside editorial: G-20 meeting not a stimulating summit
This week, President Obama found out how much harder it is to sell economic stimulus packages in Europe than it is in Washington.

My turn: Region on track for a greener, cleaner future
The recent sunshine is just one thing for Southeast Alaskans to smile about. In the past few weeks, both the Alaska Legislature and U.S. Congress have taken bipartisan actions that will boost the Southeast Alaska economy and steer our region toward a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future.

Outside editorial: Gifts? Give Obama a break
Well, of course Queen Elizabeth II already had an iPod. She's the queen. Doesn't she have everything?

The boys of spring turn to summer
It may be sport's greatest anomaly. Is there anything we await as anxiously, celebrate more poetically, than the arrival of Major League Baseball spring training? Is there anything we are happier to see come to an end?

Outside column: Building a healthier nation
America's health is failing. Despite unprecedented biomedical achievements, Americans are sicker than they should be and are dying far too young. Shockingly, our children may be the first generation in America to be less healthy and even lead shorter lives than their parents. More than 23 million children, or nearly one in three, are overweight or obese, greatly increasing the odds that they will develop diabetes, heart disease or other disabilities.

Improving efficiency in Fed jobs
Imagine Jim, a 49-year-old federal worker in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jim does the best he can, working long hours to process disability compensation claims for veterans, but the backlog is growing. He needs training on new software, a travel budget to learn about smart pilot programs outside Washington and authority to work with nonprofit groups so that he can learn new techniques and identify potential hires.

Outside column: Sending lobbyists into exile
Let me see if I have this straight: The Obama administration can talk to Iran and North Korea but not to lobbyists? It does not intend to review the interrogation practices of the previous administration but it will require all written communications from lobbyists to be posted on agency Web sites? It's dispensing with the term "enemy combatant" so as not to deprive individuals of access to the criminal justice system but those classified as "registered lobbyists" will be deprived of their right to petition their government?

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe

JAHC scheduling summer concerts
JUNEAU - The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council is now scheduling its summertime Concerts in the Park and Concerts on Campus series, and is looking for performers, emcees and volunteers interested in taking part.

Art submissions deadline is April 15
JUNEAU - The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will host a judged art exhibition of Southeast Alaska artists in June.

Pebble Fund awards $1 million in grants
ANCHORAGE - Almost $1 million in community grants are being awarded in Southwest Alaska near the Pebble copper-and-gold mine prospect.

Murkowski introduces bullet line bill
The bill, introduced Friday, would authorize the National Park Service to grant a right of way for construction of the so-called bullet line through Denali National Park.

Creamer's Field prepares for geese
FAIRBANKS - With spring around the corner, officials at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge have put out the welcome mat for the pending arrival of Canada geese.

Searchers recover body of missing man
ANCHORAGE - The body of a 35-year-old Anchorage man missing in an avalanche at Johnson Pass has been recovered.

Small plane crashes in Boulder Creek
ANCHORAGE - A 47-year-old Anchorage pilot is safe after his small plane crashed at Boulder Creek near the Matanuska Glacier.

Anchorage black bear stirs up trouble
ANCHORAGE - A black bear in Anchorage is gaining a reputation for stalking people and eating trash.

State Senators condemn North Korea rocket launch
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's U.S. senators say North Korea's testing of a long-range rocket underscores the need for American missile defense systems.

Man sentenced for wife's murder
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to 99 years for killing his wife.

Anchorage police arrest murder suspect
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested a 29-year-old man for allegedly killing a young man at a warehouse.

Traffic restricted during Juneau bridge inspections
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will restrict traffic to one lane on Egan Drive near Brotherhood Bridge between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Monday while department personnel inspect the bridge.

Judge dismisses ticket issued by Houston mayor
WASILLA - A man pulled over by the mayor of Houston north of Wasilla will not get the chance to confront the elected official in court.

Glacier 10K, mile races draw 131
Undeterred by Juneau's typical spring conditions, 69 adults and 62 children flocked to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Saturday to open the racing season with the annual Glacier 10k and Mile Road Races.

JDHS boys winless in Spokane
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team kicked off their season with the usual week-long trip to Spokane, Wash. last week, netting a tie and a pair of losses.

Photo: Showtime stall
Lasacha Freidrichs, front left, performs a stall during the Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team's tournament routine at the "Showtime" extravaganza Friday at JDHS gym.

Photo: Tournament routine
The Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team performs its tournament routine Friday at JDHS gym during the "Showtime" extravaganza.

Photo: Crowd pleaser
A large crowd watches the Juneau-Douglas High School Dance Team's "Showtime" extravaganza Friday at the JDHS gym. The annualperformances consistently have one of the largest crowds for an indoor sporting event in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau
UPCOMING EVENTS

Lawmakers begin last 2 weeks
The Alaska Legislature has completed work on just a handful of bills and resolutions, and with less than two weeks left in the 2009 session, minority senators are scoffing at what they say is a dearth of meaningful accomplishments.

Stevens' political future cloudy, despite reversal
ANCHORAGE - Former Sen. Ted Stevens may be clear of legal problems, but his future as an Alaska elected official could be over.

Mount Redoubt erupts again, postponing plan for oil transfer
ANCHORAGE - Plans to transfer millions of gallons of oil from an oil storage facility near Mount Redoubt were derailed Saturday when the volcano erupted again and a tanker sent to get the oil had to turn back.

Mount Redoubt's ash, uncertainty irritates residents
Mount Redoubt is getting under the skin of Alaska, and it's not just the irritation caused by volcanic ash.

Gov. Palin's sister-in-law arrested
ANCHORAGE - A half sister of Gov. Sarah Palin's husband is accused of breaking into the same home twice with the intention of stealing money.

Compromise abortion bill introduced in Senate
Legislation seeking a compromise over the issue of parental consent for a teen's abortion was introduced Friday in the Alaska Senate.

NPFMC takes up salmon bycatch issue
ANCHORAGE - The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is taking up the contentious issue of salmon bycatch in a fish fight that pits the interests of pollock fishermen against salmon fishermen in western Alaska villages.

Lawmakers briefed on gas project
FAIRBANKS - A project to tap into natural gas reserves in the Nenana Basin could result in more than 700 jobs for several years and up to 17 long-term positions to run a power plant.

Tourist season uncertain in Southeast
KETCHIKAN - The downturn in the global economy is being felt in Southeast Alaska, a region of the state that has come to expect lots of summer visitors.

Man charged in fatal warehouse shooting
ANCHORAGE - Shots fired through the door of a warehouse killed a high school student attending a party, according to Anchorage police, who have arrested a suspected gunman.

Anglo chairman talks about mining
Anglo American PLC, one of the world's largest minerals companies, isn't counting on any significant improvements in base metals prices for at least the next two years, Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart said in an interview March 29.

Man indicted on manslaughter charge
HOMER - A Kenai grand jury has indicted a Homer man on a manslaughter charge connected to the death of a man who died of a heroin overdose.

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